STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

Taxis new york city manhattan traffic jamFlickr / joiseyshowaaA traffic jam in Manhattan.

US stocks closed mixed amid a lacklustre session. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average booked small losses while the Nasdaq eked out a gain. The Dow closed above the psychologically important 20,000 level for a third straight session.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,091.80, -9.11 (-0.05%)
  • S&P 500: 2,294.49, -2.19 (-0.10%)
  • Nasdaq: 5660.78, +5.61 (+0.10%)
  1. US GDP whiffed. The first estimate for fourth-quarter GDP showed the US economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9%, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Wall Street had expected growth of 2.2%.
  2. Consumer confidence is at a 12-year high. The final January reading for University of Michigan consumer confidence came in at 98.5, its highest a dozen years. “The post-election surge in confidence was driven by a more optimistic outlook for the economy and job growth during the year ahead as well as more favourable economic prospects over the next five years,” said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist.
  3. The Mexican peso surged. The peso gained as much as 1.7%, hitting a high of 21.3806 per dollar, after President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had an hour-long phone conversation. Friday’s call followed Thursday’s fireworks, which saw Trump tweet about how Mexico should pay for the border wall and Peña Nieto cancelling their meeting that was scheduled to take place next week.
  4. Microsoft’s value tops $500 billion. The last time Microsoft was valued at more than $500 billion was in 2000, just before the tech bubble burst. Friday’s gain of more than 2% lifted the company’s valuation to a record high.


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